My first Uber lift was in South Carolina.  My driver was from Sudan originally, but had emigrated to the US 20 years ago.  Being the curious sort, I asked him about his life in Sudan and why he moved.  He said that he left when his country had crumbled too far, past the point where a reasonable person could have a reasonable expectation of personal safety, when all institutions had become corrupted making business increasingly difficult.  So he left.

Detecting a hitch in his delivery when he spoke of coming to the US, I asked him how he felt about the US now, 20 years later.  “To be honest,” he said, “the same things I saw in Sudan that led me to leave are happening here now. That saddens me greatly, because where else is there to go?”

It’s time to face some uncomfortable ideas about the state of civilization in the United States. This country is no longer the beacon of freedom illuminating a better way for the world. Why not?
Because it has ceased to be civilized.

The global debt glut, plus the related money printing efforts by the world’s central banks to try to stimulate further credit growth at all costs, leads us to conclude that a major currency crisis — actually, multiple major currency crises — are practically inevitable at this point.
To understand better the anatomy of a currency collapse, we talk this week with Philip Haslam, author of the book When Money Destroys Nations. Haslam is an authority on monetary history, and more recently, has spent much time in Zimbabwe collecting dozens of accounts of the experiences real people had as the currency there failed. 
This week, Haslam and Chris Martenson discuss the process by which a hyperinflationary currency collapse occurs:

We’re alienating allies & risking a much larger war. 
We are pushing our agenda and armaments right up against the Russian border — for reasons that are still completely opaque at this time — and Russia, understandably, will simply not stand for that.
So what? the average American might ask. Ukraine is half a world away. Who cares what happens there?
Putting aside the humanitarian reasons for not prolonging or intensifying a regional conflict, we risk not just only America’s century-long ties with western Europe, but possibly the next world war. 

crash

That moment of failure is coming closer and closer.   Recent actions by central banks have exposed their increasingly desperate mindset and have even called into question the one thing that absolutely cannot ever be questioned: the ability of the central banks to deliver on the promise of endless growth.
Central bank credibility (as fictitious as that may be) is essential to maintaining the current narrative, BUT central banks are rapidly losing their credibility (which should have happened simply via deductive reasoning a long time ago) and the strains are showing. Their actions are increasingly wild and extreme (SNB, anyone?), and it’s our view that 2015- 2016 will mark the end of this long run of overly-ambitious central bankers and over-complacent markets.
When credibility in central bank omnipotence snaps, buckle up.
Risk will get re-priced, markets will fall apart, losses will mount, and politicians will seek someone (anyone, dear God, but them) to blame.

The central planners are in a state of fear and panic.  They are trying everything and anything to create market validation for their policies, watching with trepidation as their favored economic metrics fail to respond to all of their frenzied efforts.
They are so far over the tips of their skis right now that there’s nothing they won’t do. 
In short, everything the central planners have tried has failed to bring widespread prosperity and has instead concentrated it dangerously at the top.   Whether by coincidence or conspiracy, every possible escape hatch for 99.5% of the people has been welded shut.  We are all captives in a dysfunctional system of money, run by a few for the few, and it is headed for complete disaster.
To understand why, in all its terrible and fascinating glory, we need look no further than Japan.
Japan is really in no better or worse shape than the rest of the developed world.   But is a few chapters further along in the story, which means it holds both explanatory and predictive power for most of the developed nations.  
This is why we should study it closely:

Here is the net result of central banks pursuing quantitative easing and zero-interest rates: a massive increase in global risks resulting from the carry trades the money expansion and cheap rates fueled.
The central banks’ “solution” has blown another global bubble of risk that now threatens to destabilize not just the carry trades but the economies and credit systems that have become intertwined with the carry trade.

In effect, the failure to address the structural problems revealed in the Global Financial Meltdown of 2008-2009 have been transferred to the larger foreign-exchange (FX) market, which is connected to virtually everything in the global economy.

silver butler

Last week was downright horrific for precious metals owners.  Hours after silver broke below $16/oz, Peak Prosperity’s Chris Martenson recorded this MUST LISTEN interview with silver expert Ted Butler on the causes of the prolonged abuse in the the precious metals sector, and how close we may be to its end.
Butler zeroes in on the heart of the issue: unfairly concentrated positions within the derivatives marketand makes the case for a near-term MONSTER RALLY in silver: